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Jan 26, 2009


Above is the link to another blog post by someone far more educated than I. But the post itself is a transcript from Eleanor of Aquitaine's Letter to Pope Celestine III in 1193.

This is in relation to the book "Devil's Brood" of which I have begun to read and reviewed earlier.
I am about 3/4 through, and I am not overly enthusiastic with it, as can be expected when reading two wonderful books it is hard to continue the same rhythm sometimes. But I do still recommend it of course. There are a lot more names/titles of liege men in the book which begin to become a blur, and unfortunately though the tragedy of the uproars the sons pertook are indeed troublesome, it does seem to go on and on with one brother against the other. However, the knowledge that this is History propels me forward, needing to know the outcome from one battle to the next. Henry II is not as formidable as one would think, and Richard of Aquitaine is simply portrayed as a bloodthirsty maniac. Henry/Hal, the young king, is portrayed as dimwit at times who is only interested in popularity or sports. We enjoy more of a look at an illegitimate son of Henry II, Geoff, though do no confuse him with the younger son of Henry and Eleanor, Geoffrey.

It is amazing sometimes to trail along the Family Tree's of any of the English Families. First off, there are always marriages between cousins, and secondly, there are always a pattern of the same names. Historians must get turned around in circles when trying to decipher who was who, especially when one writer or scribe spells a name one way, and another spells the same name a completely different way. And of course there was the inevitable death of their babies, so that an immediate family would have the same names in order to honor the lost baby. Eleanor of Aquitaine was lucky enough to have had lost only one.. is that lucky?? But in those times, it does seem she was spared that grief more than others as she did give birth ten times. Yet, then it came back to haunt her as her brood eventually turned on each other and her sons fought each other and caused Eleanor's imprisonment and estrangement from her husband.